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Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Blog, Vector Graphics |

Dance the Night Away

Dance the Night Away


Another assignment has come and gone. This time, the project was to design a t-shirt. The parameters were left pretty open, allowing us to explore different concepts and have fun picking a subject. I love swing dancing, and almost immediately knew I wanted to design something related to swing. Swing dance is very peppy, happy and fun, so I wanted to incorporate that aspect into my design as well.


I started sketching with a few directions in mind, but mostly leaning toward trying to capture some of my favorite moves. I looked up images to base my design with, and went with it. I also wanted to have a catchy phrase to go along with the image. The combination of these would create my t-shirt.

I was happy about how various aspects of these sketches worked out. I thought they caught the desired moves fairly well. I tried to change the moves up between dances, some coming from Lindy Hop, some from Charleston, and others are different types of dips common to swing. Design wise, I wanted to stick with silhouettes of the dancers, but I also liked the hide and seek idea with some of the sketches above. I also tried to incorporate music notes into some of the options, but they didn’t feel like they fit. I figured tweaking could happen in the next stage.

First Draft

My first draft was very rough. I picked the slogan “It Don’t Mean a Thing If it Ain’t Got that Swing” to go along with a famous song about swing dancing. the move that is portrayed is a basic swing out in LindyHop. However, although it may be the basic, it can lead to countless options depending on your skill level in the dance. I liked the idea here, but I knew I still had a long ways to go before this would be finished.

In showing this design, and my sketches to others I was able to gain some feedback and suggestions that were helpful. It was pointed out that I was balancing between a realistic design, and a more illustrative look, which doesn’t work. The girl in this illustration has a bun, that made her look older, and had just a bump on her head. Some wanted a more complex and dynamic move to be portrayed, others liked the simple move. Most of all, I was told to stretch to bring the excitement of swing dancing into the design.

Some other drafts I played with include:

These were good starts for different directions. With the top one I was still trying to do silhouettes. I think the move is portrayed pretty well, but it was still missing the excitement of Swing dancing. Another suggestion I had received was to use shapes to form my illustration. I decided to try something a little different, and went with the stars. This started to add a little more to the design, and so I went with it.

Final Product

In my final design I combined color, shapes, and concept to create a fun t-shirt about dancing. The stars add an additional element that brings the fun feeling of swing dancing, while the accessories help clarify the style of dance as well. The colors make the design pop, as opposed to the dull, flat feeling of black and white. Overall, I think it captures the excitement I get when dancing.